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Gary Neville is a Red, he hates…retirement?!

If Gary Neville ever considered changing his name, I’m sure ‘Manchester United’ would be somewhere at the top of his list of choices. Not the most popular of Christian names but you just know it would suit our club captain to a tee. It is without doubt that Neville is Mr Manchester United and he literally has our great club coursing through his veins.

Unfortunately, as I’m sure you are all aware, the fist pumping days that followed victories over Liverpool could soon be nothing more than a distant memory. With the emergence of young Rafael and the consistently polished performances of Wes Brown throughout last season, Neville may just want to focus on acquiring those coaching badges sooner rather than later as I don’t really see him as the pundit type. Do you?

Reliable, strong in the tackle and capable of getting forward too, it’s not hard to understand why the Gary Neville of yesteryear was once considered one of the best full-backs in world football.

Although at 34-years-old, I can’t help but notice that Neville’s days at Manchester United are close to being well and truly numbered, if of course they aren’t already.

So what exactly went wrong for a player that could once undisputedly call the right-back slot his own for both club and country? Well a spate of injuries over the last few years clearly didn’t help and the emergence of Rafael hasn’t done him any favours either. Yet even in the handful of appearances Neville has made this season, he’s hardly provided any real room for optimism or hope.

The attacking trio of John Carew, Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor pretty much ripped him apart at Old Trafford a couple of weeks back and he hardly fared much better in his latest outing against Sunderland. I even hear he’s resorted to diving. Gary Neville diving for fucks sake! Surely that’s the last straw.

In all fairness, wedged between some of those indifferent displays there have been some good performances too, most notably at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. Yet with both Brown and Rafael well on the road to recovery, can we really afford to keep giving Neville a chance to impress just because of his reputation and affiliation with the fans.

The most painful thing for Gary Neville is that he still clearly has the burning desire to succeed at United and he will cease to shirk the opportunity to pull on the famous Red shirt. That sort of trait will never desert him however much he knows deep down that he isn’t the player he once was.

Neville has openly admitted that the day he leaves Manchester United will feel like falling off a cliff. As much as I hate to say it Gary, sooner or later you’re going to have to make that plunge for the good of the club if nothing else and I’m sure you know it too.